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Adrian Peterson didn't doubt return from knee surgery

Nobody expected Adrian Peterson to be this good, this fast. Well, nobody except Adrian Peterson.

The Minnesota Vikings running back looked all the way back during a 153-yard effort against the Arizona Cardinals in Sunday's 21-14 win. He's the NFL's third-leading rusher through seven weeks.

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With a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming up Thursday night, Peterson sat down with NFL Network's LaDainian Tomlinson to discuss his amazing recovery from reconstructive knee surgery and the Vikings' surprising 5-2 start.

"I really felt like I was going to be able to come back and play without a shadow of a doubt," Peterson said in an interview that can be seen during NFL Network's Thursday pregame show. "I really believed that. The faith in that just grew, and it was just more powerful, just through the process, you know?"

Tomlinson asked Peterson how healthy he is, percentage-wise.

"I've come up with a new percentage. And mine is 150 -- I would say about 175 right now," Peterson said, laughing. "I feel like I'm better than I was last year, but me just knowing my body and you know how you know your body, the ins and out. You know when one side is weaker than the other, you're not as explosive."

"That's the only thing that I'm lacking right now, you know, on the left side," Peterson went on, referring to his surgically repaired left knee. "It's strong, don't get me wrong. It'd probably be stronger than a lot of running backs' left leg out there in the league. But I know there's so much more to gain."

Peterson said if he had to set a statistical goal, it'd be to rush for 2,500 yards. It's hard to imagine anyone reaching that plateau, though Peterson certainly has proved people wrong before.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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